When is the best time to buy a car?
Television is a big part of many people's lives, whether they like to admit it or not. The average American watches an estimated five hours of TV programming per day and approximately a quarter of this is commercials, according to a 2014 study conducted by Nielsen.
Of these advertisements, it sure seems like a lot of them are car dealerships, promoting their next event for their "biggest sale of the year." The frustrating part of this claim – whether true or not – is that they seem to be mentioned every season of the year. And they certainly are promoted in the summer, which makes sense, given that 70 percent of Americans increase their traveling on the roads when the weather gets warm, based on a survey done by Harris Poll.
But when it comes right down to it, the question of the day is this: When really is the best time to buy a new car? Or, alternatively, when it is it not in your best interest to be in the car buying market?
The following tips should answer these and some of your other car shopping questions for when you can get the best deal:
Look for advertising trends
Every beginning has an ending, as the old saying goes, and when it comes to car advertising campaigns, consumers are informed how long the sale will last to increase the sense of urgency to buy before the sale ends.. But when it comes right down to it, the best time to buy is at the end of sales events, because dealers are interested in moving as much product as possible to make room for what's next. This is why many major car sales events are advertised at the end of the year, as showrooms need to make space for next year's lineup.
There is a tradeoff, however, in waiting until the last minute. Naturally, the earlier you buy, the more options you'll have, so by taking your time, you probably won't have as many cars to choose from with inventory reduced.
Springtime isn't sales time
Flowers may be blooming in late March, April, and into May, but not so much from a standpoint of sales events. If you think about it, you probably don't see as many dealerships telling you to "bring your cash in while they're slashing" prices. And there's good reason for this. For starters, it's relatively new in the year, so there's no real "drive" to move cars for the next allotment. Also, because this is when most Americans get a refund from the government after filing their tax returns, there's no incentive to help buyers save money when dealers know that they may already have newfound cash.
Weather can play a role
When the temperatures are seasonable and the sun is out, people are naturally more likely to go out and buy. That's a different story, though, during inclement conditions, like when it's snowing or pouring rain. Braving the elements can pay off, though. As J.D. Power and Associates points out, dealerships are eager to sell when few are coming through the door, so they may be more inclined to negotiate when it's cold and gray out.
Timing is everything in the car buying world. Set your clock to these tips the next time you're in the market to replace your old car with a flashy new one.